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Tom Lulic - Apocalypse Now

Captain Willard walks the line between what he thinks to be the blindness and pointlessness of the U.S. government and the insanity and horror that Col. Kurtz represents. He, in the end, chooses to reject the power that Kurtz once possessed but throughout the movie questions the means of the government that sent him on this murder mission and seems to even understand or sympathize with the Colonel’s ways. When Willard walks away in the end and denounces the worship that is bestowed upon him he shows how he does not keep the same morality of war that Kurtz does. This separates him from Kurtz. As Margot Norris states in “Modernism and Vietnam?, “…the difference between the U.S. military and Kurtz is one of blindness and insight.? Willard understands Kurtz’s insight and his hatred for the U.S. military based on his time in Vietnam but, existing in this state of indecision between buying into the war or Kurtz’s society of a pedestal above the war, Willard still slaughters Kurtz. However his actions of committing the deeds of the government still aren’t convincing enough to pair him with the authorities that sent him. Willard associates all the madness and horror he sees to the faults of the military and shows his disgust with these “lies? he sees so repeatedly. He is fed up with the lies of the military and frustrated with the leaderless troops who he encounters on his journey up river. Kurtz mentions, “…the military could accomplish their objective by using a fraction of the soldiers? as long as they cared and brought purpose. Willard sees many troops along the way who are lost and serve no purpose. Throughout the movie Capt. Willard builds up a disagreement with the military and their presence in Vietnam but in the end is left in a state of confusion about who he believes to have the best purpose and insight to the war as he assassinates Kurtz and rejects his inherited disciples.